The Future of Sales is Transparency with Todd Caponi

About This Episode

It’s our nature as salespeople to sell prospects on what’s good about our service or product. But what if you started the sales conversation by sharing what isn’t? It sounds counterintuitive, but Todd Caponi, author of The Transparency Sale, believes that being open about the things you’re giving up in order to be great at your “core” is the key to sales success.

While serving as the Chief Revenue Officer of Chicago’s PowerReviews, Todd learned how reviews & feedback are changing the world of B2B selling – you can no longer hide your flaws and expect to get away with it. Todd joined us on Decision Point to share how transparency is the key to winning today’s customers who want to understand the full experience they’ll have when using your product – the good and the bad. How can you train your sales reps to sell with transparency, quickly qualifying more deals in your pipeline in the process? Listen in to find out!

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Decision Point: The Future of Sales is Transparency with Todd Caponi

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Todd: [00:00:00] There are always, in every company, and there is with your company MonsterConnect, right? There are things you’re giving up to be great at your core. Embrace it, lead with it. And I’m telling you, tears rolling down my cheeks, magic happens.

[00:00:14] Brad: [00:00:14] Welcome to Decision Point, a podcast about mental toughness and overcoming adversity in sales. I’m Brad Seaman.

[00:00:24] Welcome to Decision Point where we talk about sales, mental toughness, and the strategies to grow your pipeline today. We’re going to talk to Todd Caponi and Todd had recently been the Chief Revenue Officer at Power Review, which was named one of the Illinois fastest growing technology companies. Prior to that, it held three technology roles at additional technology companies.

[00:00:48] One of which changed the Indianapolis tech community forever Exact Target, uh, where he was instrumental contributor and helping exact target have a successful IPO [00:01:00] and which then sold for $200.7 billion to Salesforce.

[00:01:06] So excited to have Todd on here today, he’s going to talk about his book, The Transparency Sale.

[00:01:13] And before we get started, I want to say a couple of things, um, that sort of popped out of there. I want you to listen to, while we’re going through this interview. Um, the first one is Todd had an aha moment. When he was at Power Reviews and what he came across or what was brought to his attention was that reviews that averaged a 4.2 to 4.5 rating converted higher.

[00:01:39] Then those that had an average of five or the top score, that revelation would become the thing foundation and groundwork for his sales strategy. And, the title of his first book, which is The Transparency Sale, also would become the groundwork for a sales consultancy, [00:02:00] practice, Sales Melon.

[00:02:05] What Todd would come to find when he did his research, when he has this aha moment about the reviews, is that ultimately everyone’s trying to predict their experience. And attempt to figure out what it’s going to be like in the future. And so, as a sales rep, he found that if you lead with these things, Um, that you can actually get the elephant out of the room and then allow this to work in your favor versus being at your disadvantage.

[00:02:33] And I think that’s really counterintuitive. So you’re going to have a great, this is one of my favorite interviews is going to be great. Take a listen.

[00:02:43] Well, why don’t you do this, just to bring everybody up on, you know, kind of from the show, why don’t you give us kind of a quick background, how you got to where you’re at and then, um, and we’ll kind of go from there.

[00:02:55] Todd: [00:02:55] Yeah. Um, so it’s funny. Um, I was always a pretty good [00:03:00] sales rep, um, but I always knew that sales, leadership and coaching was my thing.

[00:03:04] I’m a nerd for sales, methodology philosophy. And one thing we didn’t talk about with sales history, which was where that quote was that you saw. Um, so. I ended up getting pushed into a sales leadership role and loved it. But then as the Chief Revenue Officer of Power Reviews, something, um, and I don’t know if you want to talk about that now or later, but let’s talk about it now.

[00:03:30] Essentially I was in Power Reviews. You could probably tell by the name. They are in the business of helping retailers and brands collect and display ratings and reviews on their websites, right? You’re buying a pair of Crocs or a sweater from Vineyard Vines or whatever. When you look at it, the product, and then you scroll down and you see the reviews, that was Power Reviews.

[00:03:51] That was the engine behind the collect and display. So we ended up doing a research study with Northwestern University here in [00:04:00] Chicago that looked at alright. When a website is acting as the salesperson, you know, a typical eCommerce site, how do people interact? What do they do? What drives their decisions?

[00:04:12] And so the first piece of data that came back was not nothing surprising. It was that we all look at reviews now, right? It was like 96% of us will read a review before we buy something we hadn’t bought before. That’s a medium to high consideration.

[00:04:26] Brad: [00:04:26] Is it the same on  the B2B side?.

[00:04:29] Todd: [00:04:29] Well, I’ll get there. Here’s what happened. There was two data points that blew my mind. Number one was that 82% of us go to the negative reviews first. So when you’re buying a pair of shoes or whatever, you skip the five star reviews go right to the fours, threes, twos, and ones. And that when a product has an average review score between a four, two and a four or five, that’s the optimal rate for conversion, meaning a 42 product actually sells [00:05:00] at a higher conversion rate than a five.

[00:05:01] So I looked at that and I thought, all right, that’s interesting. Why is it when buyers are left to their own accord, they go to the negative first and why do they need that negative to be able to convert? So I start digging into the behavioral side and I realized, you know what, the same brain that’s buying online, it’s buying from human to humans or B to B, this should work.

[00:05:26] And so I, I had an opportunity to go try it where I said, listen, if 82% of us go to the negative first, cause that’s what we want. What happens if we actually lead with our flaws or our negatives or what we’re giving up to be great at our core, first time I did it, um, the client, it was normally a six month sales cycle.

[00:05:47] The client decided. In 10 days throughout their RFP, didn’t have us come up for a dog and pony show and literally showed me their budget at the end of my first meeting. And I’ve never actually seen [00:06:00] somebody. It was like, all right, I’m on to something I found really quickly is that the behavioral science tells us that.

[00:06:07] Exposing flaws, uh, actually sells better than pretending we’re perfect. And now due to the proliferation of reviews and feedback, we got to do it anyway. So that to go back to your question, is everybody in B to B looking at? Yeah, well, yes and no, we’re all wired to try to predict what our experience is going to be like.

[00:06:27] And if all we hear is perfect. That’s why sales cycles extend. That’s why I’m 61% of the buyers time. And a consensus sale is spent doing research beyond the claims they get from you and why we lose to the status quo so often. And why competitors are actually able to cut us off at the knees by exposing our flaws that we didn’t.

[00:06:50] So, yeah, it was, it was magic. I ended up getting a publishing offer. I got three of them. I chose one. Wrote the book thought there [00:07:00] was a 50, 50 chance of the book would suck, but I felt like I got to get these ideas out there. And man, it has been a whirlwind. I, I can’t believe how well it’s been embraced and how much it’s helping companies and individuals.

[00:07:13] Brad: [00:07:13] So walk me through that at Power Reviews. You know, once you get the information and you, you stumble upon the, the behavioral science and I would like to ask you, is there anything specific? Was there a book or an article. Or anything specifically that you read in that process that you would pin down?

[00:07:32] Todd: [00:07:32] Well, yeah, I mean, it started, there’s a book called descartes’ error by Antonio Demasio and he was the guy that really, um, expose this idea that, you know, we like to think that we make logical decisions, but we actually make feeling decisions. And his quote was, you know, we are not thinking machines that feel.

[00:07:54] But we’re feeling machines that think. And so, so it starts there, right? So he started [00:08:00] the degree into that. And then as I continue to match up the research, um, with the practical application, I started to realize that, yeah, our brain, when we make decisions, there are certain things that we tick off. And one of those really important things is our ability to predict our experience.

[00:08:18] And we are wired. Too resistant, resist being influenced. And what that means is when we hear nothing but fine, Oh, speak it. Our brain puts up a little filter that says, alright, my BS detector is going off. Where is the negatives? I am not able to predict my experience until I understand what I’m giving up.

[00:08:38] And so those elements together were what kind of led me to this whole decision science theory that yeah. Leading with transparency actually sells better than perfection.

[00:08:49] Brad: [00:08:49] So what did that look like when you first rolled that out? So, so I think it’s natural. If you think about it, like, I always, I think most of us, as you noted, go to the reviews and you look at the [00:09:00] negative and you typically shy away from the positive.

[00:09:03] Because you assume that they’re going to be good. Right. So you’re really trying to figure out, Hey, what, yeah. What can I give up? When you went to your sales rep team? And I assume you did this at power of use, how did you pitch this change assume that that’s different than your, as a sales person you want to, you want to highlight the good, not highlight the bad that’s your, the natural natural tendency,

[00:09:24] Todd: [00:09:24] Yeah, it, it starts with a crazy story. Um, so I was in New York meetings that I had going on and I had an afternoon that actually had just canceled on me. And so I was the Chief Revenue Officer. I had a VP of Sales here in Chicago, which is where I am. Who we got an inbound lead from a major apparel brand that a lead came in, the VP of Sales texted me of like, Hey Todd, it’s Calvin Klein.

[00:09:51] So Calvin Klein just came in like, alright, cool. I called them up and I called my VP up and said, tell me about what’s [00:10:00] going on. And he’s like, well, they’re going to do an RFP. They’re going to do that. This big dog and pony show. You have us all up to New York afterwards to present. Once they get through the RFP.

[00:10:10] And I was like, Oh cool. I’m in New York right now. And I just had an afternoon cancel on me. I know this is a one in 50 shot, but can you have the rep reach out to their head of eCommerce and let them know I’m in New York, I’ve got some time open and if he wants to grab some coffee, I would be totally cool with, well, they did.

[00:10:30] Yeah. And the one 50 shot happened that the guy said, yes, So I go over there and this again, this right after I had made all this, like this connection between, Hey, my reps are all selling is perfect and it takes them forever. So I go in, I meet the guy, we go into his office. First thing he does is point at his monitor.

[00:10:49] That’s sticking out from his cue ball and says, you could plug in your laptop for your presentation here. And I’m like, Presentation. I thought we were talking, I thought we were having [00:11:00] coffee. Like what happened? I looked to my right and in his little office, seven people rolling chairs in there’s nine of us sitting in this little hot room.

[00:11:09] And this dude is New York in the best way possible. Meaning like there was no, there was no small talk. He was just like, let’s get to it. He starts the conversation with Todd. We’re looking at your competitor. We’re looking at you. How are you better? And then I looked around and everybody’s got like their arms up, like, all right, here comes the sales pitch, like, you know, BS meters on, you could see that you could like subconsciously see the filter going on.

[00:11:34] And so I thought about it and I thought, Hey, you know what, before we get too deep into this, I mean, you got a big team here. You’re going to develop an RFP. You’re going to spend all this time. Our competitor actually just released an ad on that. Not only do we not have, but we hadn’t even contemplated it.

[00:11:52] And if that’s okay, that’ll be important. Can we talk about that first before, before we get too deep into this, [00:12:00] because know for me, I actually send my team up and respond to RFPs to like, if that’s going to be an important element, let’s talk about it. They all looked at each other and thought, huh? Um, no, we hadn’t thought about that. And they started talking through it.

[00:12:15] Brad: [00:12:15] And you’re just in the room listening. Right? Cause they’re kind of having cross, cross the conversation.

[00:12:20] Todd: [00:12:20] Yeah, exactly, exactly. And they came to the conclusion that it was not going to be important. All right. And so I looked at them and I was like, Hey, their first customer is gap right in the apparel space.

[00:12:30] Like. I they’re going to come in here and pitch this pretty hard. And they’re like, Todd, we would not go, go to a reviews provider for that kind of technology anyway. And how would you handle it? And we talked through that. I then transitioned to alright, if you’re cool with that, here’s what we are great at.

[00:12:46] Like, we give that up to be great at our core. That was the situation where 10 minutes in that had to be commerce kicked everybody out of his office and pulled his budget out and said, can you hit that? And 10 days later, he called me personally [00:13:00] to tell me that they’ve thrown out that whole process. They just felt comfortable with us.

[00:13:04] They loved our core and they were going to just make the decision and get to it. And I was like, All right, this is crazy. And so I was able to take that back to my team as a story and go, right. How do we curate this type of information based on the customer and create messaging that kind of hits that for two to four or five that says, Hey, there are always in every company and there is with your company monster connect, right?

[00:13:28] There are things you’re giving up to be great at your core, embrace it, lead with it. And I’m telling you like tears rolling down my cheeks. Magic happens.

[00:13:38] Brad: [00:13:38] So, so when you roll this out to the sales guys, did you get any, did you get any pushback?

[00:13:44] Todd: [00:13:44] Oh yeah. Yeah. I mean, there’s, there’s multiple ways of pushback.

[00:13:47] Right? Number one is when a rep will take it too far, like you’ll walk in like, Hey, this is why we suck. Like number two is, [00:14:00] um, the idea that if you’ve got an empty pipeline, qualifying a deal out early doesn’t do you much good. It should, but like a lot, one of the managers viewed this old school concept of you got to have three X, your quota and pipeline at all times. Well, if that three X is filled with deals that you should have lost quicker, cause you’re going to lose them anyway.

[00:14:23] That’s no good. And you’re not spending your time efficiently. So it goes to the reps either going too far or not wanting to do it because they’re afraid they’re not going to have enough pipeline. But my theory was always, I would rather you have two X, your quota in pipeline filled with deals that you should, should win.

[00:14:43] And that if you’re going to qualify them out, you qualify them. I find them. Okay. So earlier than having three X filled with crap.

[00:14:51] Brad: [00:14:51] Yeah. I heard a quote, one time, if you want a new couch, get rid of your old one. And I think that same thing applies. The pipeline is like when you clean, when you get a rep to do a good house, cleaning, the [00:15:00] pipeline has a tendency to fill itself back up.

[00:15:02] Todd: [00:15:02] Yeah, well, yea. And you end up spending time on the deals you should win. Instead of trying to fill it to an arbitrary three X or four X number and like. Yeah. I mean, I’ve been a sales leader for 10 years before I wrote the book. I used to manage to that. Right. I was just like, Oh, you’re going to have three extra pipeline.

[00:15:19] Like, no, I look back on it. I’m like, that was kind of stupid because that’s what the record. So do, they would fill it with crap just to satisfy that check box instead of really focusing on, I need to stop wasting time on the deals I’m going to lose. Anyway, if you’re going to lose, lose fast and there’s no better way to do it.

[00:15:36] Then embracing transparency and leading with the things you are giving up to be great at your core.

[00:15:42] Brad: [00:15:42] So I want to go kind of back to the core idea of transparency. And I want to ask you as, as a prospect, we, we crave it. We crave transparency. It’s it’s motivating. And obviously, as you have shown in the science, we’re trying to [00:16:00] predict our experience.

[00:16:01] But as a seller, um, there’s a visceral reaction to, to, to want to do that. Why as a sales person, is it so natural to hide or want to hide your flaws? Why is this more to embrace transparency? Why is it we know that it sells, what, why do we want to find it?

[00:16:20] Todd: [00:16:20] Yeah, I mean, I think it’s those, those two things, right?

[00:16:23] That, um, There’s a part of us that thinks that our customers are subconsciously stupid and they’re not going to be able to figure it out. You hope that they won’t figure it out in the late nineties. I sold for SAP, our mantra, like we told our solution consultant, technical guys, the answer is always yes, right?

[00:16:43] Like that was always the way that we frame things because you know, we’re trying to get the sale and it wasn’t easy, easy for customers to be able to find out how you’re not like it is today. I mean, With the massive proliferation of reviews and feedback on everything we do by an experience, you can no [00:17:00] longer hide your flaws and expect to get away with it anyway.

[00:17:02] So like whatever is holding you back from it, whether it’s, um, gosh, I don’t want to get in trouble for losing this deal because I expose something that we suck at. Um, we’re going to find out anyway, like lose faster, right. Um, or, you know, I’m going to get in trouble for not having enough pipeline. Like that’s the one I hear over and over again.

[00:17:20] Is, Hey, I’ve got an active client or prospect on the hook here, and they’re interested in what we do and I’m going to try to talk them out of it. Well, yeah, I mean that that’s actually not talk them out of it. The four two is to four or five is really, really important. It’s just to make sure that they understand that, listen, here’s the things that we’re not good at.

[00:17:44] Here’s but we give that up to be great at it. I mean, gosh, like, think about that. Like the next time you go to an Ikea. Ikea is the number one furniture retailer in the world for 13 straight years. And the experience sucks, right? Like you go, you can’t find anything. [00:18:00] You got to pack the boxes onto a cart that doesn’t have brakes.

[00:18:03] You got to jam it into your car. Tetris style. You go home with a souvenir injury. You open the box, there’s 150 parts with no words in the instructions you put together, the thing, you get a little endorphin rush and you’re like, Gosh, I should have gone to bought the end tables with this bedroom set. Like it, it doesn’t make sense.

[00:18:23] Ikea tells the world, Hey, listen, we’re going to give up that experience so we can be great at our core, which is modern Scandinavian design furniture that you didn’t pay much for. That is what every organization needs to think about. Every organization gives up something to be great at their core. Just figure out what it is and lead with it and you’ll find that it absolutely does magic.

[00:18:45] Brad: [00:18:45] So how would that work? So like when you were at Power Reviews, what did the, how did you coach, or what did the intro look like when you guys stepped into acompetitive situation?

[00:18:57] Todd: [00:18:57] Well, a lot of times it depended on the client. Right. [00:19:00] But, um, you know, for this example it was our biggest competitor was a much broader solution.

[00:19:07] Right. They did reviews. They did add retargeting. They did a couple of other things. We just focused on reviews. There was big. The competitor actually had this other element. It’s a little nerdy it’s called syndication that we had not mastered yet either. So if that was going to be important to a client, we were going to lose those deals.

[00:19:26] Like we knew enough from our post loss analysis, how we consistently lost. And so like that’s, that’s step one, right? Go through the deals that you’ve lost. If there’s consistent themes and they’re aligned to a vertical or a company geo or company size that you’re selling to, those are the types of things that you want to use to prequalify your deal.

[00:19:46] And that’s what we would do. Like, Hey, um, you know, you’re looking at them, you’re looking at us. Here’s what they’re great at, right? Like if you’re looking for a holistic e-commerce checkout page or product page solution, They’ve got this, [00:20:00] this and this that we don’t have. If you’re cool with that, here’s what we focus on.

[00:20:05] Here’s our modern Scandinavian design furniture you didn’t pay for, you know, just like world-class ratings and reviews. We optimize it this way. We moderate it this way. We syndicate it this way, and then you go into it and it just, it, it doesn’t have to go through that limbic filter. That’s wired to resist being influenced when you’ve disarmed it through transparency.

[00:20:24] Brad: [00:20:24] Right. So did you, so did this strategy. Obviously Power Reviews was a relatively a new, was it a relative new company when you’re running as CRO?

[00:20:37] I, it

[00:20:37] Todd: [00:20:37] was, it’s a crazy story. I’ll give you the cliff notes. There was a power using bizarre voice and been around for a long time. As our voice acquired power reviews in 2012.

[00:20:49] And then the department of justice shut it down after a year and said it was a monopoly. How are users divested? In 2014, I left exact target Salesforce marketing [00:21:00] cloud to go rebuild the revenue engine from the ground up, you know, a company that was basically been sitting on the shelf of their biggest competitor for two years.

[00:21:08] And then we took it and relaunched it and then just kind of took the competitor to the woodshed for a little while.

[00:21:13] Brad: [00:21:13] Now was the competitor your, your former acquirer?

[00:21:17] Todd: [00:21:17] Yes.

[00:21:17] Brad: [00:21:17] Okay. Got it. So, so did your sales strategy, this embracing transparency, did this affect the development, like the actual development of the product where you go down to?

[00:21:33] Cause I would assume that sale sales reps naturally, and probably as business owners to your, your general inclination is. Maybe a, a mad rush on features, right? If we just had this feature and that feature, and this feature did that happen, where you came back and you guys just agreed, like, Hey, we’re just not going to do a handful of these things that we thought we wanted to do.

[00:21:53] Todd: [00:21:53] Well, I’ll tell you the, so our biggest competitor their customer of the year. Uh, was Whirlpool out [00:22:00] of Michigan. So customer of the year, like they have their car, their user friends up on stage Whirlpool. Now that the vestiture happens, we’re relaunched. And, uh, about two months in Whirlpool, it’s wind that we’re going again, we’re on fire and we’re doing really well.

[00:22:17] So they call us and they ask us to come to Michigan and do the dog and pony then just like, they want to know. Uh, they, they care a lot about the space. They want to know what we do and where we’re going. So total tire kicking exercise. And so two things happened. Number one, we went in with a challenger pitch, um, which was going to be based on, uh, what they’re doing today and then give them a couple of things that maybe they hadn’t thought about that they could actually do with the competition.

[00:22:44] Like it wasn’t even. Separate to us, it was, Hey, you’re not doing this. Why not? That could be an opportunity. You should call them. Um, but number two is when we went in, they wanted to see the product and our first sentence was. Hey guys, we’ve [00:23:00] been sitting on the shelf for our competitors for two years. Our reporting looks terrible right now.

[00:23:06] I’m like, there’s a couple of things that we know are going to be important to you that we’re just not caught up. And so, um, with that, and here’s where we are. Right. And just that transparency was just like, Oh, great. Okay. That a company like them, they’re like, gosh, if you guys can, could just work on that, that reporting and get that amped up.

[00:23:25] This could be really interesting. And we love you guys. Like you guys are consultants instead, like you gave us ideas on how to help us with our current provider. And fast forward, six months later, Whirlpool had left our competitor their customer of the year and had all 12 of their brands on power reviews by the following March.

[00:23:44] Brad: [00:23:44] That’s awesome. So, so did you guys, so, so that didn’t affect the development cycle?

[00:23:53] Todd: [00:23:53] It did a little bit, like in that instance, when we showed them where we were [00:24:00] falling short, they were because we had built that relationship on trust and through transparency, they told us what was important to them.

[00:24:07] Brad: [00:24:07] Right. I just did it. And I made the D that made the you belt. You built the equity up there in the deal by doing it.

[00:24:14] Todd: [00:24:14] And, and we build the rope, meaning. You know that there’s no surprises right. When we get down to it and they issue it. And we’re just like, Hey, our reporting do this, this and this. As we talked about, they’re like, cool.

[00:24:26] Yeah, we get it. We’re aligned. Right. It’s like when you lead with transparency, not only does it sell better than perfection, it creates great clients that stay, tell their friends and want to buy more because you’ve set proper expectations. That’s actually another rant I could go on for a second. You know, this, this was a revelation I just had about a month ago, where I saw an article on LinkedIn about the fact that, um, Customer service and client experience is the next mountain that we all need to get to.

[00:24:59] Right then if [00:25:00] you’re not creating legendary experiences, you’re going to fail. And I, then I did a little search and found about five other articles about it, and I’m like, wow, everybody’s really strong on this. Cool. I agree to a certain extent, but then I ended up, um, my stepdaughter, her birthday party was coming up 16th birthday.

[00:25:18] Uh, I needed to go to Costco to buy some stuff to prep for the birthday party. She loves ranch dressing, for example, right? Like wings and, and Trey with ranch. So I walk into Costco. First thing I see, like on the, they’ve got the rack with the dressings on it, the ranch dressing, like, if you want a little ranch dressing, you can’t have it.

[00:25:39] You got to buy it in 80 ounce increments. Like that’s two thirds of a gallon, right? Costco tells you. Hey, listen, if you want a ranch dressing, you got to buy a tank of it. Then off to the right. If you want one toothbrush, you can’t habit, you got to buy 10, you go to the checkout, basically just throw everything in your cart.

[00:25:59] And then there’s somebody at [00:26:00] the exit that is checking your receipt to make sure you didn’t. And Costco’s the number retailer in the U S over and over again. Right. What I came to the conclusion really quickly about is it’s not about creating great customer experiences that wins and gets customers to stay and keep coming back.

[00:26:19] It’s actually creating accurate expectations and meeting them. Right. It’s like, you know, I don’t know if you remember that Seinfeld episode, the soup Nazi, right. Where you go in and you get screamed at, but the line is down the street. Cause everybody looks forward to that and great soup. We can all do that where it’s about setting proper expectations.

[00:26:41] It’s about leading with, Hey, here’s what we’re giving up to be great at your core. And if you keep meeting those expectations consistently, you’re clear, I’ll give you a lot more rope versus if you over commit and under deliver, of course. But even if you under commit and over deliver. That’s a form of lying [00:27:00] and it works in a short term spike, but if you consistently under commit and over deliver, you create something that I call, um, expectation, inflation, which is a form of lying essentially.

[00:27:12] But it’s your customer, knowing that. If you’re consistently under, um, setting expectations and over delivering your customer will start to add a little bit to the expectations that you set every single time. And it becomes impossible to keep up with and your customers won’t stay for long.

[00:27:30] Brad: [00:27:30] Gotcha. Okay. Awesome. That’s that’s a, that’s very insightful. The question I have for you is if you look back at, from your sales history, Um, cap on. If you look back over time, there’s obvious trends that come and go every year. Gardner forests are serious. They come out with a new set of trends. And, um, my question for you is what trend is currently on the horizon and what does history tell us about that trend?

[00:28:00] [00:27:59] Whether we should buy into it or not. So it very well may be the client service piece. But I’d love to hear your thought on that.

[00:28:06] Todd: [00:28:06] Yeah. I mean the client service piece is definitely one of them. Um, the other one that I think is almost funny is, um, the rise of AI and its impact on sales. And the reason I say that is I had seen back in 2015, so five years ago, Forrester had come out with a report that said that 2 million sales jobs would disappear by the year 20, 20 due to the proliferation of e-commerce.

[00:28:33] Right. And guess what didn’t happen. Yeah. As a matter of fact, there’s more salespeople in 2020 than there was in 2015, so completely swing and miss well, I’m starting 18 months ago, I started seeing similar articles about AI. Saying that artificial intelligence and that, that, um, it was going to create buyer experiences that did not require sellers, um, that, you know, they were going to be able to basically choose their own adventure [00:29:00] and get all the information that they would typically need to make a good decision, but from, uh, you know, technology instead of salespeople and I, once again say.

[00:29:09] We will evolve as long as we continue to add value and make the customer journey all about helping them predict what their experience is going to be like set proper expectations, be their Sherpa. And every time we do that, we will continue to be valuable assets to the selling journey. If you look throughout history, as technology has come up.

[00:29:32] You know, there’s only been one profession that is truly disappeared. One, and that is elevator operator, right? Where technology put the elevator operator in the elevator, attended out. Every other jobs still exist in some form. And the ones that continue to thrive are the ones that adjust and sales throughout history has continued to consistently adjust to the challenges of technology and gets bigger and better every year.

[00:30:00] [00:30:00] Brad: [00:30:00] All right. Thanks again, Todd, for being on the show, it was great to have him. If you want to connect with Todd, you can reach him at If you want to hear more about the Decision Point podcast, you can go to And remember, don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can .

[00:00:00] Todd: [00:00:00] There are always, in every company, and there is with your company MonsterConnect, right? There are things you’re giving up to be great at your core. Embrace it, lead with it. And I’m telling you, tears rolling down my cheeks, magic happens.

[00:00:14] Brad: [00:00:14] Welcome to Decision Point, a podcast about mental toughness and overcoming adversity in sales. I’m Brad Seaman.

[00:00:24] Welcome to Decision Point where we talk about sales, mental toughness, and the strategies to grow your pipeline today. We’re going to talk to Todd Caponi and Todd had recently been the Chief Revenue Officer at Power Review, which was named one of the Illinois fastest growing technology companies. Prior to that, it held three technology roles at additional technology companies.

[00:00:48] One of which changed the Indianapolis tech community forever Exact Target, uh, where he was instrumental contributor and helping exact target have a successful IPO [00:01:00] and which then sold for $200.7 billion to Salesforce.

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